Employed physicians are very concerned with their contracts and compensation. What sometimes seems like a legal formality to employers, is a document (employment agreement) that basically defines the legal boundaries of their professional lives. Newly employed physicians often ask me how to maximize their incomes under their current employment agreements.
As an administrator dealing with employed physicians, it is easy to become cynical about this topic. It seems as if some of our physician candidates and employees are concerned more with their compensation than with finding a positive, supportive practice, dedicated staff or satisfied patients.
However, we should remember that these physicians have taken delayed gratification to a new level. They postponed starting their careers for years as they pursued medical school, residencies and fellowships. They have seen their friends complete bachelors and masters degrees, begin their careers, and begin to live a “real” life. Your physicians feel like they have been postponing their “real” lives for years.
And when they're ready to begin practicing, they're facing the possibility of school loan payments that may go on for decades, with loan balances in excess of $200,000 that are still accruing interest. Young physicians can come to feel very uncertain about their families' financial security. Under these circumstances, it is easy for them to appear to be obsessed with their salaries.
Contracting and Compensation Advice
I have posted several articles on the sister blog to this one called Contract Doctor. In them, I offer free advice to physicians seeking employment on a variety of contracting issues, including compensation. I just posted one called What Doctors Need to Know About Maximizing Income, which I wrote in response to a question sent to me by a reader last week.
If you want to understand some of the concerns that new physicians have and why they make certain contract requests, or if you are new to contracting, you might scan that article, as well as some of the other articles at Contract Doctor.
And let me know if you have questions about contracting you want to explore further.
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